Karenni Social Development Center
Building a new society for Karenni
November 2016 Newsletter
“The vision of the Social Development Center is to promote the lives of the people who have suffered human rights abuses, to teach non-violent skills to build up a new society, to develop the rule of law, to value human dignity and to protect the environment”
This month at SDC
by Principal Myar Reh

November at SDC is always a busy month of exams, hard work and impending graduation. The last two weeks of the month were busy for teachers and students as they prepared for final examinations, which they sat and completed over the course of three days starting on the 21st of November.

On the 24th, we had a farewell party for teachers Darja, Emma and Danielle. It was a great opportunity for the students and teachers to relax and have fun together after a few stressful days, celebrate the students’ hard work, and start the process of saying goodbye to each other. Farewell parties are always a bittersweet occasion.
New Volunteer coordinator

This month we welcome our new volunteer Matt. He arrived at the end of the month, just in time to meet the students and teachers from the Advanced Course. Matt is from California, and is a musician, teacher, and extreme coffee enthusiast. He came to visit KSDC last year, and loved it so much he decided he wanted to volunteer here himself. Welcome teacher Matt!
Student experiences in SDC
by SDC Students

Soe Reh’s experience
I would like to write about my experience at SDC’s Advanced Course. Firstly, I want to say that I was very lucky to attend SDC because I have gotten a lot of experience here. I have learned  
Before I attended SDC, I wanted to be a politician but I didn’t know anything about politics. At SDC I learned about human rights, law, and the environment. I hope this will be very useful for my community. I got along with all my friends and learned so much from them. We shared our lives with each other. I have never spoken English before but at SDC I spoke with my foreign teachers. I will never forget SDC, wherever I go, whatever I do. I have self-confidence because of SDC school.

Jessica Baw Meh’s experience
I was so excited to come study at SDC. I was so glad to see my new friends and foreign teachers. It was the first time I had foreign teachers. At first I was very shy with foreigners and foreign teachers in the camp, but now I feel like I gained a lot of confidence to talk to foreigners. I am so sorry to say goodbye to my lovely foreigner teachers and I hope to see them again in the future. I have had many experiences and I have learnt many things during the Advanced Course. I have improved my computer, English, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills.

Finally, I would like to thank all my lovely teachers who have supported my future and have given me a lot of energy to be empowered in the community.

La Pleh’s experience

I would like to write about my experience in the Advanced Course. I have gotten a lot of experience in the Advanced Course. Before I wasn’t confident in my English abilities, but now I’ve learned a lot from my teachers and other students. SDC has helped me find my direction as I continue my life. I have improved my English and computer skills. I learned Microsoft, Photoshop, Office and editing. These have all become my hobbies. This was the first time I have worked and eaten together with so many people in a boarding house. Now I know how to live in an organization with many people. This is important for my future when I work in my community. SDC has improved everything for me.
Teacher Emma's experience

I have spent six amazing months at SDC! I have valued the opportunity to learn from the Karenni people about their culture, history, experiences, hopes and goals. Watching the students improve not only their English, but also their confidence, has been an absolute joy. The hospitality, humour, and deep commitment to justice displayed at SDC has transformed my perspective. I will always cherish our many English and management classes together, as well as our walks to Nai Soi, rambling Sunday afternoon chats, music jam-sessions, random Karenni language lessons, and so much more. Thank you SDC for welcoming me into your community! It has been a privilege to witness the profound work SDC does. I know every student will go on to positively impact the community.

With love,

Samo Emma 
Farewell party 
This month, at the close of our Advanced Course, we said goodbye to three volunteers—our coordinator, Darja, and two teachers, Emma and Danielle. Students performed traditional Karenni dances and a hip-hop dance for the farewell party. Several songs were also shared. Principal Myar Reh, the teachers, and the students all expressed their thanks in speeches. We enjoyed a delicious traditional mohinga meal together as well. Many thanks to our volunteers—we wish you all the best in your future endeavours! Please visit again soon.
Student Photo Project

By Nang Hong

I would like to write about our photo project. For this project, we took photos that showed our life on the Thai-Myanmar border. We chose four photos and displayed them for a community photo show. We had to consider what makes a photo beautiful and interesting. We wrote about the meaning of our photos and displayed our writing with our photos. We invited the local KYEP, KnNC, and KSWDC schools to view our photos. Before they came we posted our photos around the classroom and prepared chairs and food. Over 40 people came to the photo show! They viewed our photos and read our writing. After we shared juice and food together. We are grateful to our community for coming to our photo show.  

About SDC

SDC is located in Karenni Refugee Camp 1 on the Thai-Myanmar border. It was founded in 2002 by three alumni of EarthRights School Burma (ERSB), who wanted to provide young people with the opportunity to learn about Law, Democracy and the Environment.

Since its formation, SDC has produced over 300 human rights and environmental activists. Coordinator and co-founder Aung Sun Myint continues to work with our team to realize the vision he set out with his fellow ERSB alumni in 2002.
Help us achieve our goals
To achieve the goals and the promise we made in our mission statement we rely on many avenues of support. Core organizational and project funding comes from our main donors. We are also supported by our community, local staff and volunteers from around the world.

All of us here at SDC would like to thank our core funders:

The American Jewish World Service
The Open Society Institute
Refugees International Japan

We would also like to thank our partners:

EarthRights International
The Curriculum Project
Mote Oo Education

We still need support to continue doing the work we do. If you are able to support us financially or with advice or expertise please contact us using the links below.

Copyright © 2016 KARENNI SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CENTER, All rights reserved.